Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003, USA/JAP/HGK) C/B&W-111m. SCOPE *** D: Quentin Tarantino. Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, Michael Parks, Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama, Julie Dreyfus, Jun Kunimura, Quentin Tarantino. Typically eccentric Tarantino movie (his fourth), about amazon-like blonde Thurman, who was shot in the head and left for dead by her lover Bill (Carradine) - all this on her wedding day! After lying in a coma for four years, Thurman returns to exact revenge on those that were involved. The revenge trip takes her to Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan. At its best, this mind-blowing extravaganza is a razor-sharp homage to Japanese and Chinese action cinema (parts were filmed in the Shaw Brothers studios); at it worst, it's a drawn-out, nearly plotless indulgence, but mind: this is all part of Tarantino's set-up. Film comes to (bloody) life in final action set-piece in the "House of Blue Leaves" (in Japan the b&w sequence was shown in color). Among the highlights is a wildly animated sequence, manga-style. Terrific choreography by old master Yuen Woo-Ping (DRUNKEN MASTER). Film is concluded in KILL BILL VOL. 2 (2004).


© Ron Altman